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In 2004, Facebook launched to little fanfare. Today, approximately 25% of the world’s population uses it every month, and Facebook describes its mission as to create a "global community for bringing people together."

In this lesson, students write a quadratic function to model the number of possible connections between users on a social network. They use information about how Facebook has grown over time to determine how the number of connections has changed, and discuss whether this technology is expanding our perspectives or reinforcing those we already have.

Students will

  • Given a pattern, create a rule to determine the next value in the sequence.
  • Write and graph a quadratic function to model a real-world scenario; interpret the meaning of a non-linear rate of change
  • Evaluate a quadratic function for different values of x.

Before you begin

Students should be comfortable interpreting large numbers expressed in scientific notation.

Common Core Standards

Content Standards
Mathematical Practices